FactSet (FDS) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of FactSet (NYSE:FDS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “FactSet reported impressive results for second-quarter fiscal 2018, wherein the company’s revenues and earnings topped the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Also, on a year-over-year basis, it registered growth on both the counts. FactSet’s sustained focus on bringing in new products across segments with an emphasis on financial services to expand the customer base has helped keep afloat amid the current macroeconomic challenges. Moreover, its strategy of growing through acquisitions is praiseworthy. Nonetheless, the company’s declining client-retention ratio remains a major a concern. It should be noted that a strong client-retention ratio signifies more stable revenues. Although, the company has been able to add new clients every quarter, but failing in retaining the old clients will negatively impact its near-term top-line growth. Notably, FactSet has underperformed the industry to which it belongs to in the last one year.”

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A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. UBS raised their target price on FactSet from $179.00 to $184.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on FactSet from $186.00 to $192.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on FactSet from $169.00 to $184.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Cantor Fitzgerald raised their target price on FactSet from $187.00 to $203.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Finally, Piper Jaffray restated a hold rating and issued a $197.00 target price on shares of FactSet in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. FactSet currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $192.00.

Shares of NYSE:FDS opened at $196.75 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $7,647.90, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.78, a PEG ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 2.64 and a current ratio of 2.53. FactSet has a 52-week low of $155.09 and a 52-week high of $217.36.

FactSet (NYSE:FDS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 27th. The business services provider reported $2.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $335.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $333.78 million. FactSet had a return on equity of 54.00% and a net margin of 19.07%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.81 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that FactSet will post 8.48 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 20th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 28th were given a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 27th. FactSet’s payout ratio is 30.64%.

FactSet announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, March 27th that allows the company to buyback $300.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the business services provider to repurchase up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, COO Mark J. Hale sold 48,001 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $198.43, for a total transaction of $9,524,838.43. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 6,268 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,243,759.24. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director James J. Mcgonigle sold 1,186 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $193.92, for a total value of $229,989.12. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 22,754 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,412,455.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 50,187 shares of company stock valued at $9,952,828 over the last ninety days. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of FactSet by 2.9% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,251,657 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $626,790,000 after acquiring an additional 91,419 shares during the last quarter. Dock Street Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of FactSet by 14.7% during the fourth quarter. Dock Street Asset Management Inc. now owns 44,786 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $8,633,000 after acquiring an additional 5,753 shares during the last quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY purchased a new stake in shares of FactSet during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $373,000. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of FactSet during the third quarter valued at approximately $485,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of FactSet by 11.6% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 16,837 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $3,246,000 after acquiring an additional 1,746 shares during the last quarter. 95.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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FactSet Company Profile

FactSet Research Systems Inc provides integrated financial information and analytical applications to the investment community in the United States, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. It delivers insight and information to financial investment professionals through its analytics, services, contents, and technologies.

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